SEPTEMBER 16, 2017
Alright, new feature.
For the purely academic purpose of seeing how well I know the AAC, I am going to start posting & tracking some picks for interesting league games each week.
Lines taken from ESPN at the time of posting. All game times are listed in central.
CURRENT RECORD: 0-0
1. Virginia Tech @ ECU (-23) - 2:30 PM (CBSSN - National) | PICK: VT
My faith in ECU could not be lower, even though they had an uncanny ability to knock off ACC teams in the past. I don't see it happening this year. On top of that, VT took down a WVU team that won by 30+ against the Pirates last week. I expect Fuente's squad to bring a torpedo to a cannon fight against the Pirates.
2. UConn @ Virginia (-10.5) - 11 AM (ESPN2 - National) | PICK: UVA
I like UVA a lot here. They're at home, and they have a reason for revenge after losing to a Diaco squad last year. Plus, Bill Connelly has their defense in his top 45, and I don't see UConn moving the ball based on what I saw against Maine.
3. Tulane @ #2 Oklahoma (-35) - 5 PM (Pay-Per-View) | PICK: TULANE
There's a solid history to support fading a team coming off a win like the Sooners had against Ohio State. On top of that, Tulane's defense has been stingy, even against offenses that can churn out yards at will as we saw last week. Even with Oklahoma being a different animal, I think the Wave's D combined with a running game that will burn clock can keep the Wave closer than the line suggests.
4. Cincy @ Miami (OH) (-4.5) - 7 PM (Watch ESPN) | PICK: MIAMI
Watched that Michigan game where the Bearcats hung around a lot longer than expected. That said, the offensive inefficiency was very clear, and the Bearcats made self-inflicted errors like blowing a field goal opportunity to end the first half. This is an in-state rivalry game, and I think Miami will smell blood in the water with the Bearcats being down right now. I'd take the Redhawks.
(25) UCLA @ Memphis (+3.0) - 11 AM (ABC - National)
Not going to touch this one. We have one, strange, rain-soaked game of tape on Memphis, and I don't have a feel on UCLA. The home dog is intriguing for the Tigers, but I'm less certain here.
SMU @ (20) TCU (-20) - 2:30 PM (ESPNU - National)
-20 feels about right here. Mustangs are 2-0 but their defense has been tested, and I think the Frogs are going to put up points.
Tulsa @ Toledo (-8.5) - 6 PM (Watch ESPN)
That feels like a lot of points for a MAC team to give a Golden Hurricane that a lot of folks (myself included) thought could be very scrappy this year. That said, shaky defensive performances against Oklahoma State (understandable) and ULL (yeah, I won't understand that) don't give me confidence in this game either way.
Rice @ Houston (-22.5) - 7 PM (Watch ESPN)
After watching the Coogs against Arizona, Houston both solidly took down a P6 opponent but also saw some adversity (like two offensive pass interference calls). I don't know here. After the SMU debacle, in-state games for Houston freak me out. That's a lot of points for me, even against Rice.
That's it for this week.